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  1. February 2011 Visa Bulletin: Frozen in Time


    For over 3.5 million persons waiting in line to become permanent residents of the United States, the February 2011 State Department Visa Bulletin signals yet another month of frustration. The numbers seem to be frozen in time.

    In the family categories, the worldwide visa numbers for the 1st, 2A, 2B and 3rd preferences all failed to advance a single day. For persons in the 4th preference category, the news was much, much worse: the waiting time increased from 9 to 11 years.

    For persons in the already heavily backlogged family categories from the Philippines and Mexico, the advances were minimal, and for those born in the Dominican Republic, at least two of the family categories retrogressed by a number of years.

    The situation was little better in the worldwide employment-based categories where the waits increased in the worldwide EB-3 category (professionals, skilled and unskilled workers). The waits increased in the China and India EB-2 and EB-3 categories and decreased slightly in the heavily backlogged Mexican EB-3 category.

    The following charts tell the story:

    Categories Worldwide Dominican Republic Mexico Philippines
    1st 1-01-05 1-01-05 1-22-93 8-01-94
    2A 1-01-08 1-01-08 4-01-05 1-01-08
    2B 4-15-03 3-01-02 7-01-92 6-01-99
    3rd 1-01-01 1-01-01 11-22-92 10-22-91
    4th 1-01-00 1-01-00 1-01-96 1-15-88


    Categories Worldwide China (PRC) India Mexico Philippines
    1st Current Current Current Current Current
    2nd Current 7-01-06 5-08-06 Current Current
    3rd 4-01-05 1-01-04 2-22-02 7-08-03 4-01-05
    Unskilled 5-01-03 5-01-03 2-22-02 5-01-03 5-01-03
    4th Current Current Current Current Current
    Religious Current Current Current Current Current
    5th Current Current Current Current Current

    Nor is the situation bound to improve anytime soon. The State Department warns of further retrogression in the family-based categories:

    "D. RETROGRESSION OF FAMILY CUT-OFF DATES

    Continued heavy applicant demand for numbers in the Family Fourth preference category has required the retrogression of the Worldwide, China-mainland born, Dominican Republic, and India cut-off date for the month of February.

    It has also been necessary to retrogress the Dominican Republic F2B category for the month of February.

    Further retrogressions cannot be ruled out should demand continue at the current levels for some categories and countries.

    Please Note: Applicants entitled to immigrant status become documentarily qualified at their own initiative and convenience. By no means has every applicant with a priority date earlier than a prevailing cut-off date been processed for final visa action. On the contrary, visa allotments are made only on the basis of the total applicants reported documentarily qualified each month, compared with the amount of available numbers. For example, during the past month, over 17,300 of the applicants who have become documentarily qualified in the Family preference categories have priority dates earlier than the cut-off dates established for January. Demand for visa numbers can fluctuate from one month to another, with the inevitable impact on cut-off dates.

    Following are examples of possible cut-off date actions based on demand:

    Numbers
    Available
    Demand with Priority Dates
    Prior to the Current Cut-off
    Next Month's
    Cut-off Date Will
    3,000
    3,000
    3,000
    1,000
    3,000
    5,000
    Advance
    Remain the same
    Retrogress"

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  2. GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE RELEASES REPORT ON H-1B PROGRAM

    by , 01-15-2011 at 10:12 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    A fat report and one with some helpful recommendations and statistics.
    Here are some of the more interesting items I found -
    - Of the top 150 H-1B employers, 24 were deemed H-1B dependent (a high percentage of workers on the H-1B) and 9 had prior H-1B violations.
    - Real earnings growth for US workers in occupations with proportionately more H-1B workers - particularly IT - was actually much stronger than the general US worker.
    - Engineers and IT professionals on H-1Bs were more than twice as likely as their US counterparts to have advanced degrees.
    - The proportion of new H-1B professionals in the major H-1B occupations remained largely constant over the last ten years except for IT which shrank from 5.1% to 1.4%.
    - "Start-up companies, which some argue are the backbone of innovation in the United States, cannot use the H-1B visa for their employees until their company is fully established."
    - Congress should consider eliminating the preliminary Labor Condition Application filing with the Department of Labor and have employers submit the form together with the I-129 form to USCIS
    - USCIS should allow employers to rank their applciations for visa candidates so that they can hire the best qualified workers for the jobs in highest need
    - USCIS should distribute applications granted under the cap in allotments throughout the year (e.g. quarterly)
    - businesses with a strong track-record of compliance with H-1B regulations should get to use a streamlined application process.
     
  3. A BRAIN GAIN

    by , 01-15-2011 at 09:03 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    A new report from the Brookings Institute Center for Technology Innovation argues that US immigration policy should focus on prioritizing high skilled workers rather than family immigration categories. The report calls on Congress to increase H-1B numbers for those completing science, technology, engineering and math programs in the US. It also calls for the digitization of the US immigration process to increase speed and reduce errors. And it calls on Congress to allow visa numbers to fluctuate based on the US unemployment rate and changes in gross domestic product. The last change is one that is really important if we are to de-politicize the process since Congress has a terrible record of reacting to macroeconomic changes far too late to be helpful.
  4. GOP MOVING BACK TO CENTER ON IMMIGRATION?

    by , 01-14-2011 at 01:51 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    There are some positive signs over the last few days but I'm not sure I'd be as optimistic as Stewart Lawrence, but he's made some interesting observations.
  5. Jan 14 - Letters This Week

    -----------------IMMIGRATION DAILY FROM ILW.COM------------------

    January 14, 2011

    http://www.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/digest/2011,0114.shtm

    ITEMS

    1. Comment: Letters This Week - This week we received letters

    from Jerry, Lisa, and Roger Algase. You can read them and comment

    on them here and here.

    http://blogs.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/2011/01/12_search_us.html#comments

    http://blogs.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/2011/01/07_the_acwia_man_returns.html#comments

    Alternatively you can email your letters to mailto:editor@ilw.com

    2. Article: Top Five Marketing Tips for Legal Professionals by

    Larry Bodine

    http://www.ilw.com/articles/2011,0114-Bodine.shtm

    3. Bloggings: Immigration Employment Compliance And The Health

    Care Industry by Greg Siskind

    http://www.ilw.com/articles/2011,0114-siskind.shtm

    4. News: USCIS Issues Employment-based I-485 Inventory Pending At

    Service Centers

    http://www.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/news/2011,0114-i485.pdf

    5. News: DHS Issues Notice On Nationals Eligible For H-2A And

    H-2B Nonimmigrant Worker Programs

    http://www.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/news/2011,0114-notice.pdf

    6. Focus: The Physician Immigration Book

    ILW.COM is pleased to announce The Physician Immigration Book

    edited by Robert Aronson. Contributors are: Mary Amundson, Robert

    Aronson, Lisa Atkins, Therese Bart, Janice Bianco, Ingrid Brey,

    Brian Bruner, Elise Bruner, Jacqueline Bucar, Lisa Claypool,

    Kristi Crawford, Karen Dean, Alex Dgebuadze, Robert Divine,

    Goldie Domingue, Maria Fritzinger Elias, Eleanor Fitzpatrick,

    Roberta Freedman, Kristen Harris, Wendy Hess, Dayna Kelly,

    Khorzad Mehta, Jennifer Minear, Bruce Morrison, George Newman,

    Elizabeth Neuwirth, Jennell Prentice, Karen Pollins, Michelle

    Scimecca, Suzanne Seltzer, Carl Shusterman, Greg Siskind, Rita

    Sostrin, Tim Skinner, Sarah Strensrud, Elizabeth Quinn, Hamel

    Vyas, Tracy Wallowicz, David Ware, Nathan Waxman, Andrew Wizner

    and Robert Whitehill

    The book outline is as follows:

    INTRODUCTION

    ++Healthigration: Immigration Meets Healthcare Reform by Robert

    Aronson

    THE PHYSICIAN WORKFORCE AND HEALTHCARE REALITIES

    ++Physician Workforce Modeling: State of the Workforce by Kristen

    Harris

    ++Immigration Attorneys & Physician Recruiters: The Essential

    Connection by Tim Skinner & Jennell Prentice

    ++Rural Healthcare & Conrad Waivers by Mary Amundson & Therese

    Bart

    J-1 EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM AND INTERNATIONAL PHYSICIANS

    ++Evolution of J-1 Exchange Visitor Program for Physicians by

    Ingrid Brey

    ++ECFMG Role in Administering the J-1 Physician Program by

    Eleanor Fitzpatrick & Tracy Wallowicz

    ++Legal Issues in Administering an Institution's J-1 Exchange

    Visitor Program by Lisa Claypool

    ++The View from the Inside: institutional Considerations in the

    J-1 Program by Janice Bianco

    STARTING THE IMMIGRATION PROCESS

    ++Intake Analysis and Considerations for the IMG Client by Robert

    Whitehill

    J-1 WAIVERS

    ++Overview of the Conrad J-1 waiver Program by Suzanne Seltzer

    ++System of Federal Designations of Medical Underservice by

    Robert Aronson

    ++Other Federal IGA Waiver Programs by Goldie Domingue

    ++J-1 Waivers through the Department of Veterans Affairs by

    Michelle Scimecca

    ++Waivers for Biomedical Researchers through the Department of

    Health and Human Services by Elizabeth Quinn

    H-1B TEMPORARY WORKER CONSIDERATIONS AND STRATEGY

    ++H-1B overview for International Physicians by George Newman

    ++H-1B Options for Medical Trainees by Rita Sostrin & Alex

    Dgebuadze

    ++H-1B Fulfillment Obligations following INA 214(l) Waivers by

    Khorzad Mehta

    ++Eligibility for H-1B Extensions beyond Six-Years by Robert

    Divine

    ++Corporate Practice of Medicine and Who is the Employer by

    Jacqueline Bucar & Elizabeth Neuwirth

    OTHER NONIMMIGRANT VISA OPTIONS

    ++Alternative Nonimmigrant Visa Options for IMGs by Roberta

    Freedman & Lisa Atkins

    ++Nonimmigrant Visa Options for Canadian Physicians by Carl

    Shusterman

    PERMANENT RESIDENT OPTIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL PHYSICIANS

    ++Overview: Choosing the Right Option by Jennifer Minear

    ++Comparative Advantages: Labor Certification vs. National

    Interest Waiver by Brian Bruner

    ++Labor Certification Theory and Practice for Physicians by Wendy

    Hess, Karen M. Pollins and Maria P. Fritzinger Elias

    ++Business Necessity for International Physicians by Dayna Kelly

    ++Special Handling Practice and Strategy for Academic Physicians

    by David Ware

    ++National Interest Waiver Overview for Physicians by Kristi

    Crawford

    ++NIW Attestation Letters from the State Departments of Health by

    Elise Bruner

    ++NYSDOT Adjudications: Trends and Blips by Nathan Waxman & Karen

    Dean

    COMPLIANCE CONSIDERATIONS

    ++The Legacy of Kutty: Compliance Issues for Employers by Sarah

    Stensrud

    DESIGNING A BETTER MOUSETRAP: SOME THOUGHTS ON LEGISLATIVE REFORM

    ++Legislative Initiatives Impacting Physician Immigration by Greg

    Siskind

    ++Immigration Architecture for the 21st Century by Bruce Morrison

    For more info on The Physician Immigration Book and to order:

    Online: http://www.ilw.com/books/ThePhysicianImmigrationBook.shtm

    By Fax: http://www.ilw.com/books/ThePhysicianImmigrationBook.pdf

    7. Headline: Republicans seek more Latino outreach

    http://ow.ly/3DUKo

    8. Headline: Chicago DREAMAct? RahmEmanuel Says He Would Pass

    Local Version Of DREAM Act If Elected http://ow.ly/3DUxA

    9. Headline: Hispanics Blame Rahm For Illegal Immigrant Ban In

    HealthCareReform http://ow.ly/3DUok

    10. Headline: Immigration bill would cost state $40 million a

    year http://ow.ly/3DTKu

    11. Headline: Report criticizes immigration enforcement

    http://ow.ly/3DTDs

    12. Headline: Chancellor links Tucson shootings to immigration

    http://ow.ly/3DTx6

    13. Headline: Boy, 9, has Disney World trip ruined after

    USimmigration rules him a threat http://ow.ly/3DT1C

    14. Headline: California GOP's immigration problem

    http://ow.ly/3DSHQ

    15. Headline: Sign up for ILW.COM Attorney Yellow Pages. Don't be

    left out!- Get listed at http://ow.ly/3yOFb

    16. Headline: Employer's Immigration Compliance Desk Reference

    book will guide employers through the immigration waters get ur

    copy at http://ow.ly/3yOB1

    17. Headline: @ilwcom offers every 100th new follower a FREE book

    on immigrants!! valid till supplies last. RT to your friends.

    18. Headline: House may kill Arizona-style immigration bill, Rep.

    Rick Rand says http://ow.ly/3Dhgp

    19. Headline: RT @rkwences : "My name is Reyna, major is Gender +

    Women Stds. Something you should know about me? I'm

    undocumented." dreamer

    To submit an Article or a news item to Immigration Daily, write

    to mailto:editor@ilw.com. Follow ILW.COM on Twitter:

    http://www.twitter.com/ilwcom

    _________________________________________________________________

    CLASSIFIEDS

    1. Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegals

    Boston, MA - Multiple positions (junior and senior) will

    participate in all aspects of the Seyfarth Shaw LLP

    http://www.seyfarth.com

    Boston office national Business Immigration practice, including

    assisting in the management of client relationships, preparing

    employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions, including

    PERM processing, case preparation, and serving as primary contact

    to numerous prominent clients. Our clients include Fortune 500

    corporations, major academic and medical institutions, and

    performing artists. Applicants must be able to work in a fast-

    paced, deadline-driven environment, and communicate effectively

    with clients and governmental agencies. Qualified applicants

    must possess a Bachelor's degree and between 2 to 5 years of

    business immigration experience. Salary is commensurate with

    experience. Resumes can be sent to mailto:mbyam@seyfarth.com.

    2. Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney

    Washington, DC - Boutique immigration law firm

    http://www.paulhaarlaw.com

    in downtown Washington, DC seeks experienced associate attorney.

    Ideal candidate will have excellent research, writing skills and

    client relation skills. Must have demonstrated experience in all

    business and family immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions and

    significant Immigration Court experience. Bilingual

    Spanish/English a plus. Collegial atmosphere. No billable

    hours. Competitive salary and benefits. Resumes, refs and

    writing samples to mailtoaulhaar@paulhaarlaw.com.

    3. Case Management TechnologyUse technology to leverage your

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    management products, which include 800+ forms updated within 24

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    online tool - accessible from anywhere and anytime - provides e-

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    and assembly, and many other immigration management tools. The

    online library of customizable questionnaires, letters & email

    templates, ability for clients to check case status online.

    Compliancy modules: I9, LCA, AR 11, PERM, optional services:

    credit card processing, Outlook & QuickBooks integration. An ISO

    27001:2005 and 9001:2008 certified company, INSZoom has been

    providing leading edge technology solutions for all sizes, from

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    practice's needs. Schedule a complimentary online demonstration

    by calling (925) 244-0600 or emailing mailto:info@INSZoom.com.

    Learn more about why INSZoom has a 99% customer retention rate at

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    4. Expert Witness ServicesMuslim World Expert Professor Shaul M.

    Gabbay, Phd, offers expert testimony in immigration cases from

    Muslim countries/societies, including the former USSR. Dr. Gabbay

    prepared reports and testified in 250+ Immigration cases

    nationwide (asylum, cancellation of removal, asylum interviews,

    hardship waivers) with a 93% success rate. Examples of what

    Immigration lawyers say: ... "He is a consummate scholar and

    passionate about his subject ... He makes a wonderful witness...

    He is riveting on the witness stand, helping us win nearly

    unwinnable cases with aplomb. He has won the praise of numerous

    Immigration Judges." (Svetlana Schreiber, Esq.) ... "He provided

    the testimony we needed in numerous asylum cases ... in virtually

    all of those cases, but for the expert witness testimony, I doubt

    the cases would have been approved, I recommend Professor Gabbay

    to anyone with issues involving Islamic society and culture."

    (Stephen Berman, Esq.) ... "His testimonies, whether written or

    oral, are credible, persuasive, and non-refutable. I have never

    lost a single case which had Dr. Gabbay on as an expert witness."

    (Ally Bolour, Esq.). Contact Professor Gabbay with any questions.

    He can also recomend country experts outside his specialty.

    Professor Shaul M. Gabbay, Phd, Korbel School of International

    Studies, University of Denver, mailto:sgabbay@du.edu, (303)

    871-2560.

    http://www.Muslimworldexpert.com

    To place a classifieds ad in Immigration Daily, see here

    http://www.ilw.com/corporate/advertise_on_ilw.shtm

    _________________________________________________________________

    ReadersWrite

    1. ReadersWrite: Yesterday's Discussion

    http://blogs.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/2011/01/13_are_you_linked_in.html#comments

    2. ReadersWrite: Today's Discussion

    http://blogs.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/2011/01/14_letters_this_week.html#comments

    To submit an Article for consideration, write to

    mailto:editor@ilw.com

    _________________________________________________________________

    ComingsNGoings

    ComingsNGoings: Submit Your Announcement If you have a

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    Appointment, New Associate, New Attorney, New Partner, that you

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    comingsNgoings announcements is a free service.

    Readers can share professional announcements (up to 100-words at

    no charge), email: mailto:editor@ilw.com.

    _________________________________________________________________

    The first daily in the field of immigration. Forward this to a

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    Publisher: Sam Udani Legal Editor: Michele Kim ISSN:1930-062X

    An Important disclaimer! The information provided on this page is

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